Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #133

Melva, far left: “Well, I do declare. Look at that mess over there!”

Gertrude, middlin’ left: “Honey, this is New Awlins. We got mess everywhere. Which one you talkin’ ‘bout?”

Melva: “Right there in front of your dadgum eyes, woman. You go off and leave you spectacles back home again?”

Gertrude: “I done told you I don’t need no dang spectacles.”

Melva: “Doc Wiggins says you do. Especially since you run into that grain silo with that rattle-trap Buick you think you know how ta drive.”

Gertrude: “Doc don’t know nothin’ worth hearin’.”

Melva: “He sure knew you was with child that one time when you thought you had the gas somethin’ fierce. You know, when you up and had that one baby that didn’t look like any a your other babies.”

Gertrude: “Why you always gotta bring that up ‘bout Earl Junior? I done told you a thousand times what happened with that. I had me a bad cough durin’ that year’s carryin’ time and I got ahold a bottle of cough syrup that had turned. Sometimes that happens with babies, they look like what you been eatin’ while you were cookin ‘em.”

Melva: “Was that freckled cough syrup? Cuz none a your other kids had freckles. And why’d you name him Earl Junior, again? Cuz your husband’s name that year was Buck. The one that built the silo you tried to kill with the Buick.”

Gertrude: “Melva, I love ya to death, but there are times when I wanna smack you into the street and keep walkin’. Now, knock it off and get back to what you were talkin’ ‘bout fore you stuck your nose in my freckle baby daddy business that ain’t yours to know.”

Melva: “Hmm. Guess you ain’t takin’ those nerve pills Doc Wiggins says you should be takin’, either. Why you even go to him if you ain’t gonna listen?”

Gertrude: “Girl, my hand is gettin’ twitchy. Go ahead and poke that stick one more time.”

Melva: “Fine. I was talkin’ ‘bout that man over there with the fancy camera. I think he’s one a them boggers.”

Gertrude: “Boggers? You mean that pack a trash family lives over on Grunt Bucket Creek? In that rusted out shack half-ass fallin’ in the water? Girl, they can’t afford to come to the city like we can. Besides, Olivia Crumple told me that some of them Boggers voted Democrat last election. People like that ain’t got sense enough to work a fancy camera.”

Melva: “I don’t mean them, you fool. I mean a bogger, those folks what take pictures and write stories on the social media.”

Gertrude: “Social media? That sounds just like socialism, and we can’t have that in God’s country, no sir.”

Melva: “Well, Gertie, this is New Awlins. It’s Sin City. Ain’t much of the Savior left up in here. That’s why I told you to tuck your pistol in your Bible and wear an extra girdle in case we need to run from somethin’.”

Gertrude: “Oh, right. And I did just that. Well, close to it, anyway. I might a got it back-asswards, cuz I brought two Bibles and there’s somethin’ lumpy in my girdle.”

Melva: “That’s okay. It never hurts to have a double-barreled Bible, or at least says Pastor Lilywhite. More important, what are we gonna do about this bogger man? He’s lookin’ right at us like we done somethin’.”

Gertrude: “Well, I say we stare him down hard. He ain’t go no right to accuse us of nothin. Heck, he ain’t go no rights at all, bein’ a socialist in this country and whatnot. Use your best stare, Melva. Let him know he ain’t never gonna steal any chickens outa our coop but he might die tryin’.”

They stared.

The bogger clicked his fancy camera.

The rest of New Awlins continued drinking and paid no mind to how other folks might choose to live their lives.

Later that evening, back at their respective family farms and after the chicken coops had been checked to make sure no liberals had swiped a few eggs to share with the poor, Melva retired to a back corner of her house and whipped out the laptop she had disguised as a Daughters of the Confederacy Cookbook. She kicked off a browser, entered some very specific keywords that she would deny knowing in a court of law, should it come to that, and managed to locate the latest post of the New Awlins bogger.

Turns out, the bog post was all about the gay couple behind them in the photo, an about-to-be-married duo who were in the midst of dueling and whimsical bachelor parties, fun larks in the City of Sin. Melva was only mildly-surprised to now recognize one of the two as a former high-school prom date. She had sort of known back then, as most people sort of do, and she briefly wished him well, because he had been such a sweet guy, despite how things played out. But then her upbringing instincts kicked in, as they often do, and she shook it off, stiffened her resolve, and headed over to the “Fox News” website to learn who the far-right expected her to hate tomorrow.

Meanwhile, over to another coop-checked farm, Gertrude finished drying the supper dishes and did not check the socialist media, mainly because she still didn’t now where in tarnation her spectacles might be. Instead, as her seventh husband retired to an early bed, what with all that plowing that needed to be done, come sunrise, Gertrude snatched up her hidden bottle of rum and splashed a bit of temporary pain reliever in her ritual evening beverage.

She relaxed on the divan in her sewing room, where everyone else feared to tread because she made it clear that it was her private space, and she reflected on things. Like the choices we make without fully understanding why, and the facades we build out of fear, and the overlooked opportunities that should have been so obvious.

But mostly she thought about a certain long, hot summer spent in a rusty shack half-ass falling into the creek and falling in love, and the cutest freckle baby you ever did see…


Previously published in “Crusty Pie” on 04/08/15. For this post, I completely wiped out the original arc and started all over again. I hope we all take that chance when we have it…


34 replies »

  1. I don’t want to reduce this hilarity to one phrase, but the “middlin’ left” stage direction really got me!!

    I think you need to write a screenplay or sitcom. Pretty sure I’ve told you this before.

    I’m a great actress so give me a bell when you do

    Liked by 3 people

    • First, I entertained MYSELF with the “middlin’ left” stage direction. Glad you caught that.

      Second, you have told me, and I’m listening.

      Third, when my book, “Oak Cliff Confidential”, eventually comes out, study up on the role of Sharon Horizons, because I think you would be perfect when they make movie that they surely will make…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha!

        Feel like we reside upon the same length of wave…
        Or however the phrase goes lol

        I WILL do that and I’ll be knocking on your door ready for my close up, Mr. Lageose

        Liked by 1 person


    *spells to bring back your lost lover in 3days
    *spells to find new lover
    *spells to devorce
    *spells to get married quickly
    *spells to stop your lover from cheating and be loved alone
    *spells for protection
    *spells to win court cases
    *spells to win lotto or any betting games
    *spells to get job promotion
    *spells to get new job
    *spells to get money

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gosh almighty, turn yer back fer a few seconds and lookie here what done sprouted up. Well not the ORIGINAL sprout (nod to 2015, which was a time when we still had hope and some sense left in our poor deluded country); that Dr. Wasabi thingie. Ain’t that agin all Christian teachin’ (by the Reverend oxymoron if ever one existed)? I mean it might be VOO DOO or WITCHCRAFT which the good book tells us’in all is evil, pure and simple. Like them po’ folks in that ramshackle rusted out fishin’ cabin that a freckled (and no doubt red headed) horny man done set up housekeepin’ in? Gertie there found out first hand just how well the fella could plow a field though, something her Albert/Fred/George/Randolph/Henry/Duke/and who ever #7 is could not. It’s all about the equipment..

    Liked by 2 people

    • Love your comment, as usual, but your stunning grasp of the dialect says this to me: You’re angling for another collaboration wherein we only do country-speak, there’s a lot of infidelity, and what should have been the right things to do turn out to be the wrong things. (Okay, maybe you’re not angling, but I’m sort of doing that, which is basically the same thing, considering we were rudely ripped apart at birth.) So off I go to find an appropriate, theme-setting photo. Naturally, I will probably forget about this proposal within seconds, but right now I’m focused…


  4. I don’t think it’s ever taken me this long to get to the open comment section, but this has been thoroughly entertaining! For the post, yeah, for the ending, which was breathtaking, and then the comments! I’m am soooo glad I decided to stay up and read one more blog and that yours was the blog!
    And may I just say that the fact you approved Dr. Allan’s comment leaves me in awe, Sir Brian. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love it when the comments run this long. (Okay, fair admission, there’s a small part of me that wonders “holy cow, how am I going to answer all of this”, but then I get into the spirit of things and it’s all good.)

      Of course, it also thrills me that you decided on the “Bonnywood” flavor as your pre-slumber ice cream choice.

      And Dr. Allan? Well, he was an easy target, and I really didn’t have to aim with all that much accuracy to score a hit. And so it goes…

      Liked by 1 person

    • I lie prone with gratitude before your altar, FT. (Wait, I may have used that line before. In fact, I’m probably still lying face-down on the floor since the last time I said that. When you get older, you find a position and you stick with it…


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